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Out & About

A .270 rifle customized by Biesen gunmakers in Spokane features a Dall sheep butt plate. Courtesy of  O’Connor Center (Courtesy of  O’Connor Center)
A .270 rifle customized by Biesen gunmakers in Spokane features a Dall sheep butt plate. Courtesy of O’Connor Center (Courtesy of O’Connor Center)

New gear trends on the slopes

OUTFITTERS – According to the Ski Industry Association, here are some of the latest trends in equipment showing up at resorts this winter:

•Fatter skis on more models with waists wider than 80mm. Fat skis aren’t just for powder anymore. They’re providing more stability in all conditions and speed without chatter.

•Rocker and reverse camber are buzzwords for new designs that focus on the bottom of the skis or snowboard.

Snowboards with a downward bowing out between the feet rather than the concave curve of traditional boards reportedly deliver more control.

Rocker (aka reverse camber technology) in skis is said to keep tips from sinking in powder.

•Youth gear that accommodates growth, such as K2 Snowboards Mini Turbo Line with a shim system that allows a boot to grow up to three sizes and Roces youth ski boot with a shell that stretches four sizes by turning a key.

Spyders and Obermeyers kid’s apparel has easy-to-let-down hems allowing up to 2 inches of growth.

•Wearable electronics is blending electronic compatibility with helmets, hats and even gloves – which means people will be even more distracted on the slopes this year.

Biesen rifle raffled for O’Connor Center

OUTGUNNED – The third in a series of five .270-caliber rifles customized, engraved and inlayed by the Biesen family gunmakers of Spokane is being raffled to benefit the Jack O’Connor Hunting Heritage Education Center in Lewiston.

Although tickets can be purchased online or by mail, the rifle will be on display Friday through Sunday at Cabela’s in Post Falls.

Also on display will be the two .270s Al Biesen made in the 1950s for the globetrotting Outdoor Life hunting editor.

The raffle rifle simulates those customized pre-1964 Model 70 Winchester rifles, which became famous through O’Connor’s writing. The rifle also features engravings of O’Connor’s top Dall sheep and Idaho mule deer trophies.

Tickets cost $25 or five for $100. No more than 1,000 tickets will be sold, said Darrel Inman, O’Connor Center spokesman.

The drawing will be held June 5.

Info: (208) 743-5043;

Three warming huts at 4th of July Pass

OUTHOUSE – Volunteers from the Panhandle Nordic Club have been cutting out deadfall and improving signage at the cross-country trails system they groom and maintain at 4th of July Pass.

They have erected the shell for a third warming shelter – this one on the Twisted Klister Trail system. As soon as the snow is deep enough for grooming, they plan to attach the “skin” to the shelter and install a wood stove.

Info: www.panhandle

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